On June 10th, 2013 the Associazione Rapinese di Ottawa had the opportunity to host and welcome the Mayor, and delegates from Rapino, (Chieti), Abbruzzo, Italy.
On arrival, at the Macdonald Cartier International Airport in Ottawa the delegation were met and were welcomed by the former President of the Associazione Rapinese di Ottawa, Mr. Lorenzo Micucci and his spouse Denise; the new President, Mrs. Gina Marinelli and her spouse Rinaldo, and several Executive Committee Representatives and Members of the Association.
The Mayor, Mr. Rocco Cocciaglia was accompanied by the Vice-Mayor, Mr. Andrea Oliva, Doctor Fabbrizio Costantini and his spouse Giuseppina, Mr. Adriano Pasquale, and Mrs. Rosalba Mascioli and her spouse Luigi .
The group were allocated at the Marriot Hampton Inn, (Coventry Road, Ottawa) compliments of the Associazione Rapinese di Ottawa, where they were greeted by several Executive Committee Members and friends for a brief reception to mark their arrival.
The Mayor, Delegates and Members of the Executive were provided with an excellent program highlighting the different daily activities and events that have been organized by Lorenzo and Denise Micucci as chief host for this event.
Overall, as a result, this visit was a success. Our compatriots were exposed to many beautiful sites and historical marks within our city of Ottawa. They have had an opportunity to savour some taste in many areas such as cultural, culinary and social aspects of our City. They have met many Rapinesi and Italians within our community, relived many traditional experiences, re-connected with some respective relatives that live in Ottawa. As well, they were given a variety of cultural outings. Namely, a tour of Ottawa and surrounding areas, the Parliament Buildings, Museums, Gatineau Hills, Byward Market, shopping at the Rideau Centre and see many focal points that our beautiful city has to offer. In addition, Angelo Filoso was able to arrange the opportunity for the Mayor of Rapino to meet the Mayor of the City of Ottawa, Jim Watson where he received a personal tour of City Hall. The Mayor and the delegates also visited Toronto, Niagara Falls and Montreal, where they were well received by the Rapinesi that live there.
Albeit, the highlight and focus of this visit was the main event sponsored by the Associazione Rapinese di Ottawa was an evening allowing Rapinesi and Members of this Association, including Pretorese and Roccolani, to come together to meet the Mayor and Delegates of Rapino at the Hampton Inn. To mark this occasion, a buffet with a selection of typical Italian food, refreshments, Porchetta and desserts were served along with an assortment of various traditional miniature cookies that were brought by this delegation from Rapino for all of us to savour.
During the evening, the Mayor delivered a powerful speech filled with pride, emotions, and appreciation for their warm welcome that they received from everyone, to the Executive Committee Members of the Associazione Rapinese di Ottawa for extending them the invitation and to Lorenzo and Denise Micucci to have made this visit possible. This visit was in the works some time ago, finally their goal was realized. In addition, he conveyed and reciprocated his personal feelings of goodwill and was overwhelmed by the outpouring affection and establishing fond friendships and for allowing this trans-oceanic meeting a reality. The evening evolved in a pleasant and amicably environment. The Mayor stressed his pride and he complemented all the Rapinesi and Ital-Canadian friends his appreciation and pride for retaining the strong Rapinese cultural traditions and Italian heritage initiatives in Canada. He handed small gifts symbolizing the fostering of fraternity and sound friendships established between the Comune of Rapino and the Ital-Canadians that live in Ottawa.
In Conclusion the Mayor, and Delegates were impressed and proud to have had a positive and successful cultural experience in Ottawa, Canada. They will treasure all the beautiful memories and all their friendships they have made during this visit for many years to come.